Before we set off to play FIFA 12 last week we asked you all for any questions or things you wanted us to look out for in the “Team FSB Guildford Bound” article. The good news is that we took those questions with us and kept a close eye on the things you guys were most interested in over the two days. Obviously we can’t answer everything (licensing/embargo) and there were some duplications as well, so if we haven’t answered your specific question there will be a specific reason. And some of the answers can be found in our comprehensive FIFA 12 Gameplay Impressions of course.
[Andrew Tansley] Keep an eye out for the precision dribbling with players such as Messi/Ronaldo/Nasri/Iniesta who should be hopefully excel in this department. Can they dribble at speed and weave past multiple defenders to create shooting opportunities and space for team mates ?
Tom: Overall the precision dribbling did seem much more effective with those types of players. The code we played only included Arsenal and Chelsea, so Nasri is the only player I can pick from that bunch, but nearly everyone who played with him mentioned how great his dribbling felt compared to less skilled players.
[Jubal C] How does the tackling feel? In FIFA 11, I was passed a player and they tackled me from behind and still won the ball!
Dave: Tackling actually feels really nice this year. The timed button presses make it a lot more realistic and the Contain function allows you to hold up your opponent in 1v1 situations. The other really nice addition is that if you miss-time a tackle there is now a recovery time for that failed animation so players can actually get away from you after a challenge. That adds an element of real danger because you don’t want Messi running away from you now do you?
[Red Age] Keep us informed about the graphics improvement and match day experience. EA has stated that it will have fresh and cool match day experience. What have they done to improve this?
Tom: There are some new match intros, which you’ll either love or hate really. At this stage they will probably have a lot more work done on them, I hope so anyway, they began to tire after a day of playing if I’m brutally honest. Those things typically come later in the cycle, so not much we can say about them at the moment.
[Kasper] Take a look at shooting also, I sure hope they made some work there. Finesse shots always go in if they are from a certain angle and it doesnt even matter which player is shooting.
Dave: Finesse shots are an interesting one because they haven’t nerfed them by any means but the heavier ball physics help to rein in their power certainly. In FIFA 11 shooting in general is quite loopy and shots dip and curl so quickly which means finesse shot are incredibly easy to score. But in FIFA 12 the shot trajectory in flatter and the curl and dip more refined. I don’t think it’s solved the problem completely but it’s definitely better.
[ShakesUK] I’m not sure if there’s any dedicated (or experimental) manual players going to the playtest this year but would be cool if you could ask any guys there if the manual community has been given some love or not this year?
Tom: I’m a manual player, Dave isn’t, so I guess I’m the only one who can answer this… I didn’t feel like much had changed. There were benefits from elsewhere such as the weighty shooting, but there wasn’t anything that made me think they had made any advancements to manual settings. There were a few issues too. Namely with first time passes or shots not being registered. This had a knock on to the quick throw ins sadly. Sometimes your input just didn’t happen, not 100% of the time, but enough to be a problem. Not great but it has been “reported back”.
[Hat74] I’d like to know how the freekick system has improved?
Dave: I’m sorry to say that it hasn’t, well not in the build we played anyway. Free-kicks are pretty much identical in every single way.
[Krash] Test the new menus inside-out! the most important question here: are they responsive, snappy, and lag-free?
Dave: The new menu system is great actually and I much prefer the horizontal layout compared to a big vertical list. They certainly seem to be responsive and the awful button lag issues have been addressed. We are still stuck with the same Team Management system though which was a big disappointment given that every wants to see the back of it.
[Wildster180774] Has the constant ability to pressure finally been resolved and the over physicality too. I fear with the Impact Engine this could even be magnified.
Tom: The impact engine did have some issues, but I don’t think over physicality was one of them. Again, we were limited with teams, but playing as Arsenal against Chelsea, I didn’t feel like the physical difference was so bad that I couldn’t complete, especially when compared to how things were in FIFA 11, it’s definately much less noticable. Tactical defending seems to have handled the pressure problem really well, but time will tell, certainly against the AI the pressure was much less prominent. Except on Legendary.
[BC87X] Could you look out for more physical aerial duals and fouls committed in the air, which are non existent in previous FIFA’s?
Dave: The Impact Engine definitely helps here because players now collide in the air with the same realism that they do on the ground. This makes 50/50 aerial challenges more varied and natural rather than seeming like it’s a yes/no outcome from the AI.
[AnthonyOA] Can you pass the ball through the needle like inesta or play keep ball like Xavi, now?
Dave: Yes and no. When you pick up the ball with some one like Fabregas (didn’t try Xavi) you can certainly pass with better accuracy and pace than your standard player. That’s the Pro Player Personality kicking in and it’s really nice to see and feel. But I still think passing needs a bit more pace at the top end because it can feel quite pedestrian at times particularly when you’re trying to thread passes. So yes and no really, if EA tweak passing then you’ll be very happy I’m sure.
[Drjohnnyboy] Do CPU opponents make errors in passing the ball? Not just having passes intercepted by you but actually passing too far ahead or behind their teammates?
Dave: The CPU sort of did this in FIFA 11 but it was always in exactly the same areas (touchline) so it never felt like genuine inaccuracy. Personally I wouldn’t want inaccuracy scripted in, in that fashion because it should be part of normal play for us and the CPU. We’d need much more time with the game to determine how this is working.
[PompeyFcPlayer] Can you now ‘win’ headers rather than the goal keeper plucking the ball out of the air every time? At times tall strikers should be able to out jump a stretching goal keeper to win the ball.
Dave: Interesting one this because playing against Tom I did manage to challenge a keeper from a cross, get in front of them and score. Now that’s not a definitive answer because it only happened once but based on the code we played it’s certainly possible now and goalkeepers no longer claim the ball by default from crosses.
[unsub823] So basically, did they actually make it so you can do quick throw-ins or did I just make this up?
Tom: No you didn’t make it up, it’s in there and seems to work pretty well. I did have some issues with them using manual controls, but that seemed to be a problem with first time balls in general, none of the assisted players seemed to have that problem. As a mechanic it works well and whilst it isn’t exactly a huge addition, it does what you’d expect it to do.
[Gazinho] I would like to see more info on goalkeepers. Do they have more individuality, i.e do they dominate on corners, pass the ball short all the time or have long throws for good distribution?
Tom: Aside from a few new animations, I didn’t see anything that stood out as being different with the keepers, aside from what was mentioned above. Sorry.
[Strikerx10] test the new feature shielding whilst dribbling, can become an exploit in online games?
Dave: We did test it and I can’t see it becoming an exploit online in it’s current state to be honest because you can’t shield forever and maintain possession continually. Eventually the defender behind you will work around you, or a secondary defender will take the ball from the side or front. What it does do though is buy you those few precious seconds to hold things up and allow the midfield to join in. In FIFA 11 you couldn’t hold up play at all so this system is a big plus. The strength of shielding also depends on which player you’re using.